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If You’re Seeing Uncle Vanya on Sunday…

You’re invited to join a small informal discussion after you see Uncle Vanya on Sunday, March 28.  We’ll provide light food and drinks at a restaurant near the venue immediately after the performance, you provide the conversation.  No strings attached—just a chance for you to talk with others who saw the same performance.  Think “book club” — but about the play.

We’ll share our reactions, ask each other questions, and talk about what was interesting.  To reserve your place in advance, click here, or see a UMS Lobby representative (in a bright green shirt) at the Power Center before the performance or during intermission to get on the list.  We’ll tell you the location when you make your reservation.

Happy Birthday, Anton!

Anton Chekhov with birthday cakeAnton Chekhov’s 150th birthday is today.  UMS is celebrating his sesquicentennial a couple of months late, with the Maly Drama Theater of St. Petersburg’s production of Uncle Vanya.

A quick trip through the UMS archives (which is really a set of card catalog drawers filled with meticulously kept index cards — but more on that later…) shows just one Chekhov production, and, in typical Chekhovian fashion, a missed one at that.  In February 2000, UMS was scheduled to present Martha Clarke’s Vers la flamme, set to a series of Chekhov short stories. Sadly, the production was canceled due to “insurmountable technical problems” that kept the production from transferring to Ann Arbor.  I was lucky enough to have seen the work at Lincoln Center before it was scheduled to come to Ann Arbor, and it was a staggering piece of dance-theater.  While we did subsequently bring Martha Clarke’s company to Ann Arbor in February 2003, it was with a different work that did not have a Chekhov connection.

The production photos of the Maly production of Uncle Vanya are beautiful, with costumes inspired by the play’s very first production in 1899.